The father of Korey Kauffman, a Turlocker found dead in the Stanislaus National Forest more than a year after he disappeared, is asking for help to find his son's killer.
Kauffman's father has penned an open letter, describing the loss of his son and his hopes that witnesses will come forward.
“Only those who've been through this can understand what it’s like to have your child’s life cut short over something so seemingly trivial,” Kauffman's father wrote. “The knowledge of never seeing him again in this life is unbearable at times.”
Kauffman disappeared in March 29, 2012 under mysterious circumstances.
The day before Kauffman disappeared, a man allegedly threatened his life. After an argument about money, the man allegedly chased him in a car and tried to run him over, saying, “when I catch you I'll cut you ear to ear.”
Authorities said at the time that they had interviewed the man “extensively,” and that he was not a suspect.
On the day of his disappearance, Kauffman left his home in the 1300 block of Lander Ave. to visit a friend in the 800 block of Ninth Street, but then left his friend's house shortly after arriving. Kauffman said he would be right back, but he never returned.
According to his family, Kauffman was not the type of person to simply leave without telling people where he was going. They believe he was the victim of foul play, potentially because he supported himself by scrapping metal, much of it stolen from local businesses.
“Korey was a giving individual who with question would help anyone in need. It’s very hard to accept his death. So senseless and the idea that a human life is less important than the possibility of a few scraps of metal!” his father wrote.
Kauffman's remains were found by hunters on Aug. 19, in the Stanislaus National Forest. An autopsy and on-site evidence suggest the remains are Kauffman's.
Kauffman's father's letter is reprinted here in its entirety, unedited:
“Not quite sure where to begin. My son Korey was a good kid. He had a kind and gentle soul, not an angel by any means, but a good person. Someone who a lot of people knew and loved. Korey was a giving individual who with question would help anyone in need. It’s very hard to accept his death. So senseless and the idea that a human life is less important than the possibility of a few scraps of metal! If this is the reason for his death, those individuals surely must not have kids of their own. I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone. Only those who've been through this can understand what it’s like to have your child’s life cut short over something so seemingly trivial. The knowledge of never seeing him again in this life is unbearable at times. I won’t be helping with his car, going fishing, taking him to the drag boat races or having him at the house for family gatherings. Most importantly, watch him have a family of his own. For the last almost 2 years we've been one family member short, so many things we as parents take for granted because we believe that our children will out live us. I’m so grateful to all that were involved in finding him.
Kauffman was 5-foot-11. He weighed approximately 160 pounds and had blue eyes and blonde hair. His arms were covered with tattoos of skulls. Kauffman was wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and brown work boots at the time of his disappearance.
Detectives are asking anyone with information about Kauffman's disappearance to cone forward. Those with information can call Det. Cory Brown at (209) 567-4485 or leave an anonymous tip by calling (209) 521-4636.